I was invited by the Nanjing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics (NUAA) NUAA to visit there May 25 to June 25, 2007 and teach a grad course on Portfolio Optimization. I flew from Toronto to Hong Kong via Anchorage Alska and then north to Nanjing and was taken to my apartment (the building is below, L) where I promptly went to bed. A Westerner would probably look at the building and conclude that it wasn't too well kept up. But Chinese are very clever - they put all their money and decorating on the inside of their apartments. I think NUAA had purchased some of the apartments in my building and fixed them up for international visitors like myself. I think I had the luxery apartment: two rooms, new laminated floor, new fridge with freezer, microwave, big bedroom with big comfy double bed, big wardrobe, air conditioning and colour TV. The bedroom also had a nice big solid desk and a high speed internet connection. The NUAA campus is very beautiful. Each day, I would walk along the street (below R)

The apartment building where I lived.

After leaving my apartment, I walked along this street.

  and then enter the campus through the gate (below, L). The campus roads were lined with beautiful trees (below R).

One of the two main gates of NUAA

Beautiful trees lined the streets of NUAA campus.


Beautiful Pond

I passed thisLily Pad Lake as I walked to my class


A 5 foot high poster announcing my lectures.


Some of my students outside of the building where I taught.

The girl in the pink top is Hanxing Zhang. She has been accepted as a Master's student by the C&O Dept and she emailed me regarding course details. She thought I was in Waterloo. I emailed her back telling her that I was teaching a course at NUAA in Nanjing. She replied that she had checked out my course on the NUAA website and she was catching a train from Chongqing to Nanjing to sit in on my course. She did indeed join the course and was an enthusiastic contributor. We have corresponded after I returned to Waterloo and she mentioned she plays the dulcimer. I remembered the hammer dulcimer from my grad student days in Berkeley and I loved it! She sent me her YouTube links and I asked her permission to put them on this page. Here is how she explained things to me. I quote Hanxing as follows:
"I started to learn dulcimer(a Chinese traditional musical instrument) when I was eight. And I started to learn another Chinese traditional musical instrument which is Zhongruan when I was 12. I am sure you are curious about how is dulcimer like. I put two of my videos on the website of YouTube. The links are
These two videos were made four years ago when I just graduated from senior high school. The name of the shorter one(the first one) is Beautiful Africa, and the name of the longer one(the second one) is Flying Fenghong( an animal in Chinese ancient tales which stands for luck and happiness). I hope you enjoy it."  
I do love the dulcimer and Hanxing plays it beautifully!!

Copyright © July, 2007
Most recent revision July, 2007